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Published March 2023
By Marilynn Vanderstaay

So, he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. Luke 15:11-32 NKJ

The story of the prodigal son is bittersweet with a happy ending. After a man’s son leaves home to discover the world, like so many of the children of the recent generations have done beginning in the 1960’s , he squanders the inheritance he had demanded from his father, and realizes what a mistake he has made. Living a life in squalor was not what he had planned and realizes he should go home.

Meanwhile rather than be angry, his father goes to the road daily holding a porchlight to light his son’s path home. With faith he believed his son would come home.

And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, With everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Isaiah 35:10 NKJ

In the same way Porchlight Church, Sunday afternoons at 138 Thompson Road, is a porchlight to the community of all ages who are looking to find their way home to Jesus.

“We realize, as a church, that Interaction, engagement, and conversation is vital to understanding the needs around us and how we can, together, discuss and practically and co-operatively work on solutions. The lack of this interaction has added to the notion that faith, God, and "faith communities" are ineffective and therefore unnecessary. Faith communities are depleting in our post-Christian society largely because we have lost the art of "conversing" in community and with hospitality and love for one another in a relevant way” says Pastor Mario. “But God has left the porchlight on,”

A young church that opened its doors in 2019 it shares the space at Hillside Church. Porchlight is a café -style interactive-engaging church. Evangelical Christian Pastor Mario Ngabwe teaches the Word of God Woro both educate the congregation and encourage them. A worship leader pastor, Mario provides projected contemporary worship interspersed with his teaching.

Participants sit at round tables enjoying café fare before service when their spirits are fed with the Word taught in weekly from a series or topic. “The Gospels are really all about what Jesus taught and His resurrection,” says Pastor Mario. “So, everything I teach comes back to that.”

Pastor Mario also recognized much of Jesus’ ministry was spent answering questions, good and bad, from his disciples, the Rabbis and the people. In the same way he encourages questions during his teaching time. “Questions do not interrupt; they enhance.” Pastor Mario and his pastor wife Kendra administer Porchlight with their three (tall) older sons. He came to Canada from Zambia in 1995 and found his way to Alberta where he attended Bible college and met his wife. God directed them to London to plant a church which they did in God’s timing. The London community is invited to follow the porch ight to the weekly Sunday service Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m. Sometime ago Pastor Mario came across WHY? Magazine, a secular publication that answers questions about a variety of non connected topics. In the same way, one of his goals is to start Porchlight magazine that tells prodigal stories from a variety of sources and answers questions.

138 Thompson Road, London
(519) 709-7157